Photo Credit: Hillel Meir/TPS
Young people preparing to block the evacuation of a building in Netiv Ha'Avot

In accordance with the instructions of the political echelon, security forces on Wednesday morning began demolishing a building in the Netiv Ha’Avot neighborhood on the outskirts of Gush Etzion in Judea. The building, a carpentry workshop, is located outside the municipal boundaries of Gush Etzion. The evacuation is considered a prelude to the full evacuation of 17 buildings scheduled for March.

Young men and women from across Israel have been gathering overnight to barricade themselves in and around the targeted building. They wrapped the perimeter of the building with barbed wire and toppled a vehicle on the access road to prevent Border Police troops from approaching. They then spent the night playing music and singing.

Young people preparing to block the evacuation of a building in Netiv Ha’Avot / Hillel Meir/TPS
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A portion of the carpentry shop slated for demolition Wednesday was built outside the Gush Etzion boundary and its owner has already destroyed it. But the owner’s plea to the High Court of Justice to cancel the demolition of the rest of his was rejected.

In recent days, the State Attorney’s Office has been examining a solution for six of the neighborhood’s buildings, which are also only partially located outside the approved area. The office may issue temporary building permits to these structures until the settlement’s urban planning is approved.

Young people preparing to block the evacuation of a building in Netiv Ha’Avot / Hillel Meir/TPS

The temporary permit idea is based on retired Court President Miriam Naor most recent ruling on the matter, which rejected the owners request to allow them to demolish only the parts of their homes that sit outside the Gush Etzion boundaries. Naor noted at the time that if the homes had a temporary building permit, the owners’ request might have been accepted.

Either way, if the Justice Ministry decides to issue temporary permits, it will still require the approval of the High Court of Justice.

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